- Prizes and Awards: Giller Prize Shortlist 2002
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This nearsightedly negative view of feminism, and Shields's narrator's inability to see her three daughters as human beings, strains the credibility of Unless. Shields can be a wonderfully ironic writer, but that temperament is largely absent here, and much of her usual sophistication is lost in Reta's solipsism. Her prose is as delicious as ever, but that alone is not enough to carry the book. Unless will appeal to devoted readers of Shields, but it cannot be counted among her strongest work. Those who have never read her (or who have only read The Stone Diaries) are better off turning to Swann or Larry's Party, or even seeking out her superb debut, Small Ceremonies. --Jack Illingworth
When the book is finished you are asking yourself: what was that?
It did open your interest, though.
Carole writes very well using language that provides clarity and captivates interest but is beyond the vocabulary of the majority of people, possibly not her particulr set of... Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2011 by John
I very much enjoyed the book Unless, by Carol Shields. It is about a writer writing a book within a book - but that is only part of the story. Read morePublished on April 4 2011 by Darleen
Unless goes to page 320. Twenty pages are blank, and there is a space between every line. So its word count is about the same as Virginia Woolf's very slim, To the Lighthouse. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2010 by Gaboora
I agree with the reviewer, Carrad's, statement, "Moaning for pages and pages and pages about how female authors and characters have been marginalized for centuries does not justify... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2008 by Shepherdess Extraordinaire
I agree with the amazon.ca review. If you haven't read Shields before, do yourself a favour and read "Stone Diaries" or "Larry's Party" before you pick up this... Read morePublished on Dec 23 2005
I read this book because of recommendations and hype. UNLESS you have all kinds of time,,,don't bother,,,however, there are a few interesting pages so if you really are curious... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2004 by Elina